Sir Apirana Ngata (1874-1950)

Where can I find information about Sir Apirana Ngata?

Entry last updated: 5/10/22


Sir Apirana Ngata (1874-1950) was a Ngati Porou leader, lawyer and politician. He is famous for his work in Māori land development and reform, and for his support for the creation of a Māori battalion during World War Two.

General websites

There are a number of websites that are great for information about New Zealand people and history.

Dictionary of NZ Biography (DNZB)

DNZB is part of Te Ara — The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. It contains over 3,000 biographies of New Zealanders who have ‘made their mark’ on this country. It does not include people who are alive. You will also find around 500 biographies in te reo Māori.

  • You can browse alphabetically or you can enter the search words 'Apirana Ngata' into the search box.

  • Choose the entry Ngata, Apirana Turupa.

  • To read this in te reo Māori, go to the top of the page and select Māori.

Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually, it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, e.g Apirana Ngata. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.


NZHistory like Te Ara is a site that focuses on New Zealand's culture and past. It is easy to read and has links to other resources.

  • Use the same keywords you used in your Te Ara search.

  • Results are grouped in themes on the right hand side.

  • Scroll down the page and select Apirara Ngata 1874-1950.

  • Remember to explore the other links for more information.

Tips: Both Te Ara — The Encyclopedia of New Zealand and NZHistory are owned by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. They both have .govt in their web address – this means they are from government organisations and the information is well researched and reliable. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

New Zealand Electronic Text Collection (NZETC)

NZETC has all sorts of digitised materials. The site uses Google to search, so the results will look like a normal Google search but all the results are from the NZETC.

  • Start by doing a keyword search.

  • You can use the filters on the left to focus your search.

  • Within a work, you can try using an index to find further references.

Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. This is also a New Zealand website, so relevant for our research.

Australia New Zealand Reference Centre Plus

This is one of the EPIC resources, a collection of databases covering lots of different topics. It is put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this. You may need a password to access it.

This particular database is a great resource for newspaper and magazine articles from New Zealand and Australia.

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Images and documentaries

Sometimes it's difficult to find pictures of people who lived in the past, but it helps if the person is quite famous like Sir Apirana Ngata. Here are two New Zealand websites that have images and documentaries about his life and achievements.


DigitalNZ is a search site that focuses on all things New Zealand. It’s an easy way of searching online resources from New Zealand libraries, museums, universities, media and government sites all at once, and has lots of primary sources.

  • Start by searching for 'Apirana Ngata'.

  • The results are grouped by the type of information, like images, videos, newspapers, articles and research papers.

  • Select Images to see Sir Apirana Ngata leading a haka in 1940, or select Audio to hear him speaking in 1940 at the opening of the Whare Runanga meeting house at Te Tii Marae, Waitangi.

  • Remember to explore the articles and newspapers listed under More.


This website includes films and documentaries that have appeared on New Zealand television.

Tips: Websites that have .org or .com in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation's mission and values are.


There have been a lot of books written about Sir Apirana Ngata, so you could visit your school library or local library for more information. Some recommended titles are:

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